Educational partnership offers rural students options for baccalaureate

By Jess Marvin

For northern Nevada students seeking a bachelor's degree in education, the partnership between Nevada State College and Western Nevada College offers a unique opportunity to continue their studies without the hassle of a long commute.

It's a little known secret that we have this partnership with other NSHE institutions, said Cindi Supko, NSC-WNC Coordinator/Advisor for the Northern Nevada Program. Ms. Supko, who works from WNC's campus, assists students in transferring from WNC to NSC. This partnership provides students living in northern Nevada the chance to seamlessly transfer their two-year degrees from WNC to NSC in preparation for earning a four-year degree, said Supko. In addition, students seeking certification as an elementary or special education teacher are able take courses from NSC without having to leave WNC's service area.

As NSC School of Education Dean Lori Navarrete explains, educational options are not plentiful for northern Nevada education students who want to earn a bachelor's degree. We are giving northern Nevada students more options for earning their degrees and certifications, said Dean Navarrete.

WNC students who are close to completing their two-year degree are able to transfer most, if not all, of their lower division credits to NSC and apply to the Teacher Preparation Program as a junior. Once accepted, students may enroll in online, instructional television (ITV) classes, or face-to-face classes offered at the Carson City or Fallon campuses. The northern Nevada adjunct instructors have extensive experience teaching in rural areas, which is a benefit to the students, as many of them wish to teach in rural Nevada once they graduate.

The Nevada Legislature approved the partnership between the colleges in 2003 in an effort to provide access to the baccalaureate for students who reside in rural areas of northern Nevada. The first group of students from northern Nevada graduated from the partnership program in May 2006, earning degrees in Education. To date, the program has 52 graduates from the NSC-WNC partnership program from northern NV holding degrees in elementary or special education.

NSC benefits greatly from the NSC-WNC collaboration in education, said Dean Navarrete. We are able to serve our rural populations and give students the opportunity to earn degrees in high-need areas as well as earn re-certification credits and complete endorsement coursework and formats, she continued.

While NSC and WNC students benefit from this educational partnership, the young students residing in the rural areas of Nevada will profit from learning from educators committed to assisting and giving back to their communities.
To learn more about the NSC-WNC partnership, visit http://www.nsc.edu/4553.asp.

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